In July, Chuck wrote about the looming end to incandescent bulbs 40 Watts and higher. Unfortunately Congress has yet to act to repeal any of these bans. However, many debates remain on whether the newer CFL or LED bulbs will really offer a savings over time in relation to incandescent bulbs. With 2012 and the first phase-in of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act inching closer, some entrepreneurs have decided to play the futures game and stock up on the soon-to-be-banned bulbs.
Some incandescent hoarders really just prefer the quality of light that electric light bulbs emit, though many others hope to make a buck on eBay or Craigslist once the ban against incandescents is in full effect. I wish all of them well. However, I sincerely hope that someone looks at this as a good ole’ American ingenuity opportunity and presents us with an inexpensive and viable lighting product.
News about incandescent light bulb hoarding has been gearing up all year. USA Today, The Boston Globe, and MSNBC among many others have run stories this year about incandescent hoarding. As with any supply-and-demand situation, the incandescent black market will see winners and losers in the coming months and years — and I can only applaud those with the foresight to stock up for their own requirements, real or imagined. But I suspect the majority of us will simply vote with our wallets and choose the cheapest option that fits our needs. I could go on about the pros and cons of incandescent bulbs, CFLs and LEDs, but suffice it to say, none of these options is agreeable to all parties at this point.
I’m sure there will be some who’ll do what Toolmonger Sean described in Tool Talk #65 for his latest truck purchase — actually create a spreadsheet with requirements, pros and cons, and come up with the best option for them personally. I’m also certain that over time this ban will create an innovative opportunity for someone to market a revolutionary, cost-effective solution that many will agree upon. Hopefully someone in a garage somewhere is sketching out a design that’ll take the lighting market by storm. I’m hoping that this individual will be able to construct a miracle solution and that America will response to this issue like it has to so many others — through innovation. It’s just too good of an opportunity to pass up.
Here’s hoping America has it in itself to overcome yet another issue, however minor, that faces our nation. I, for one, would appreciate being able to light my home without taking a bite into that new tool allowance.